Dental implants are an amazing advancement in the field of dentistry. They allow your dentist to replace a missing tooth or teeth with a prosthesis that extends into the jaw bone and in most cases, lasts a lifetime while looking and feeling just like a natural tooth.

The only downside to dental implants is that they must be inserted surgically, and it can take a little while to heal following this surgery. For most patients, 2–4 months of healing time is required before the dentist can attach the crown portion of the implant to the rod that's been inserted in your jaw. Everyone heals at different rates, but your healing rate is not completely out of your control. Here's a look at a few ways you can speed your healing process, so you can have those crowns attached and enjoy the look and feel of your new implants as soon as possible.

Avoid high-impact activities that may jar your mouth.

Many patients are so excited to get back to their normal routines once the initial pain of surgery subsides that they jump back into life full-swing and forget that their bodies are still healing. High-impact activities such as running may increase the pain and swelling by jarring your jaw, slowing down the healing process. Stick to low-impact exercise, such as biking and cross-country skiing, until your implants have healed.

Sip lots of fresh fruit smoothies.

Fruits and vegetables are nature's healing foods, but they're hard to eat when your mouth is sore from surgery. Puree them into a smoothie to make them easier to consume. You can make a vitamin-rich, delicious smoothie by combining a banana, a handful of pitted cherries, a cup of watercress and a peeled kiwi in a blender with a splash of orange juice. Try adding different ingredients each day to make a wide array of smoothies. As an added bonus, sipping the cold smoothie will ease pain and inflammation, speeding the healing process even further.

Do some yoga.

Don't start this habit until about a week after surgery, once most of the pain has subsided. Attending a gentle yoga class, or even doing a few minutes of yoga in the comfort of your own home, can help speed healing by increasing your circulation. Increased circulation helps bring nutrients to the area that is healing and carry toxins away from it. Yoga also reduces stress levels, which speeds up the healing process. Remember not to push yourself too hard – stop exercising if your jaw begins to ache or you feel lightheaded. You should also avoid poses that put any sort of strain on the jaw or head.

During the recovery process, your dentist will likely want to see you and check up on your healing progress. Be sure to ask how you are healing, and ask if he or she has any additional tips for speeding up your healing process. Your dentist has likely inserted implants into hundreds of mouths, and he just might have some other secrets to ensure you can have your crowns attached sooner rather than later. Visit Carolina Forest Family Dentistry if you are looking for a dentist.